At the time when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was born, most of the people of Makkah were in a terrible state of worshiping idols. They believed that God was only one of many gods. The people of Makkah made many statues and worshipped them unrightfully. They believed that the Ka^bah was a special house, but they put their ugly idols around the Ka^bah. The people used fortune-telling arrows in order to make decisions and went to fortune-telling people for advice.
People came from all around to visit the Ka^bah and worship the idols. They claimed to be making Hajj (Pilgrimage). However, what they called Hajj was changed from the Hajj performed by Prophet Ibrahim before them. They went around the Ka^bah naked while clapping and whistling. The Makkans got wealthy from the spending of the tribes who came to their city to worship unrightfully.
Some say that the Prophet ﷺ was two months old when his father died and others say that Aminah was still pregnant with the Prophet ﷺ when ^Abdullah died. ^Abdullah left five camels, some goats, and a female slave called Barakah (also known as Umm Ayman).
Aminah narrated that she did not feel the weight of the pregnancy like other women do. During her pregnancy, Aminah saw a dream (with her feeling in a state between waking and sleep). In this dream, someone told her, “Do you know with whom you are pregnant? You are pregnant with the master of this nation and its Prophet ﷺ.”
The birth of the Prophet ﷺ was an easy one. It was on a Monday, on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Rabi^ul-Awwal. The Prophet’s ﷺ birth was about 50 days after the incident of the Elephant attack of Abrahah.
It was narrated that the Prophet’s ﷺ umbilical cord was already cut when he was born. Hence, no one had to do that cutting. Also, it is said that the Prophet ﷺ was born already circumcised.
Aminah sent a message to ^Abdul-Muttalib to tell him of the birth of his grandson ﷺ, and to come. ^Abdul-Muttalib came and Aminah told him about wonderful dreams that she had while pregnant with the baby, and how easy the birth was. ^Abdul-Muttalib was very pleased and took the blessed baby to the Ka^bah. He went inside of the Ka^bah with the baby, thanking God for the birth of this special grandson. ^Abdul-Muttalib gave the baby the name Muhammad ﷺ, meaning, “The one praised by many for his numerous good attributes.”
This was not a famous name at the time among the Arabs. Only seven children had received this name before and that had been recent. Those seven children had been named Muhammad because at that time, the Arabs were hearing that shortly a Prophet would be born named Muhammad. Those people hoped that their son would be that Prophet. So, they named their sons Muhammad, before the naming of our Prophet ﷺ. Yet the name Ahmad, that is also a name of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, was never given to one before our Prophet ﷺ. This is the name cited in the book of Prophet Jesus, the Injil, as well as the name Muhammad.
Ibnu Sayyidin-Nas and others narrated that when the Prophet ﷺ was born, fourteen balconies of the biggest palace of the king of Persia fell down. Also, the fire that the Persians worshipped went out, even though it had not gone out for one thousand years.
The name for the title “king” in Persian is “Kisra.” This Kisra saw a dream about which he felt very uncomfortable. The Kisra gathered his advisors and consulted with them about the dream. The Kisra told his advisors that he saw in his dream: camels guiding horses. These animals crossed the river of Tigris and from there, they spread through his kingdom.
While Kisra was telling this dream, they got the news that the fire they worshipped had gone out. The Kisra got more disturbed. The religious head of the Kisra told him, “I saw the same dream this past night. I interpret it as follows: The Arabs will get out of their country and overcome the rulership of Persia. Those Arabs will rule our areas. This will take place after fourteen Persian kings rule, equal to the number of balconies that just fell from the palace.” That Kisra thought to himself, “It will be a long time before fourteen kings pass. I don’t want to care about this now.”
After the birth of the Prophet ﷺ, ten Kisras succeeded one another in just four years. After those four years, four more Kisras reigned over a period of about 80 years. The Persian Empire then totally fell to the Muslims, under the rulership of Caliph ^Uthman; about 20 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Ever since then, that area has been a Muslim area until today.
When baby Muhammad ﷺ was born, the news spread among the sons of ^Abdul-Muttalib that they got a new nephew. One of the sons of ^Abdul-Muttalib acquired the name “Abu Lahab.” Abu Lahab received the news of his new nephew from a slave woman that he owned named Thuwaybah. Abu Lahab was so happy that he set that slave woman free that Monday. Later, when Muhammad ﷺ became a Prophet, that same uncle became one of the worst of enemies.